Lalitopakhyana (Lalita Mahatmya)

by G.V. Tagare | 1958 | 103,924 words | ISBN-10: 8120838246 | ISBN-13: 9788120838246

This page describes the march of the army of shyamala which is Chapter 17 of the Lalitopakhyana (or Lalita-Mahatmya), an important scripture within Shaktism embedded as the final part in the Brahmanda-Purana. It is presented in the form of a dialogue between sage Agastya and Hayagriva, which is incarnation of Vishnu and also includes the Lalita Sahasranama.

Chapter 17 - The march of the army of Śyāmalā

Note: It is not understood why our text has more than two separate chapters for describing the march of Lalitā’s army. The text N. in one (11th) chapter has described the march of the total army in 108 verses.

Hayagrīva said:

1. “At the time when Daṇḍanāthā set out, the sky shone as though adorned with innumerable moons, due to the numerous umbrellas of white lustre.

2. The darkness that gathered together densely under the white umbrellas rubbing and clashing against one another, became dispelled by the lustre of jewels fitted to their handles.

3. In the army of Kroḍamukhī (Boarfaced Śakti), hundred varieties of Tālavṛntas (fans made of palm-leaves) proceeded ahead enveloping the faces of quarters, by means of the blazing lustre of diamonds (set in the fans).

4-5. The dreadful (Bhairavas) such as Caṇḍadaṇḍa and others proceeded ahead running in the Vanguard of the army of Daṇḍanāthā. They had tridents in their hands. Their tawny-coloured matted hair rendered the quarters brightly illuminated as though, by means of lightning. By the fiery flames of their arrows, they wished to burn the hosts of Daityas.

6-8a. Many soldiers with the faces of Boars proceeded ahead. They had the same size, shape and ornaments as the goddess Potrīmukhī (Boar-faced). In their hands they had the same weapons as those of hers. Their vehicles too were the same. From their sharp curved teeth smoke and flames of fire issued forth covering up the whole of the sky. They were dark in complexion like the Tamāla tree (Xanthochymus pictorius). They were tawny-coloured and had eyes of ruthless features. They rode on thousands of buffaloes.

8b-12. After getting down from the excellent chariot (drawn by) a group of elephants, Śrī Daṇḍanāthā (Daṇḍa-Nāyikā) mounted a great lion, her own vehicle, well known by the name Vajraghoṣa. It shook the thick cluster of its manes. It kept its mouth wide open. It had hideous features and large eyes. The quarters were deafened by means of harsh sound produced by the gnashing of its curved teeth.

It appeared to grind[1] the terrestrial sphere by means of its claws which were as hard as skulls and the outer shell of the primordial Tortoise and which sank down as far as the Pātāla. It was three Yojanas in height. It shook its tail to and fro with great rapidity.

Our text reads (pibantam but N. reads pikṣantam probably a back-formation from Pkt. Piṭṭha. The root is untraced in MW.

Daṇḍanāyikā mounted this leonine vehicle and marched ahead.

13. As she betook herself to the task of slaying the Asuras with blazing fire of fury, the three worlds including the mobile and immobile beings, experienced excessive excitement and alarm.

14-15. Frightened in their hearts, all the groups of heaven-dwellers in the firmament thought thus—“Will this Potriṇī (Boar-faced deity) burn down now itself the entire universe by means of her fiery anger? Will she split the earth into two by striking it with her club? Or will she agitate and stir up the oceans by means of her weapon plough.

16. They fled far off hurriedly and in great fear and saw the goddess. With their palms joined in reverence the Devas made obeisance to her by repeating the twelve names-and glorifying her in the firmament.”

Agastya said:

17. “O holy lord Hayagrīva, of excessive intelligence, what are the twelve names of that deity? Tell me. I am extremely eager to hear them.”

Hayagrīva said:

18-20. “Listen to the twelve names of that goddess, O potborn sage, on hearing which she will become pleased. They are Pañcamī, Daṇḍanāthā, Saṅketā, Samayeśvarī, Samayasaṅketā Vārāhī, Potriṇī, Vārtālī, Mahāsenā, Ājñā, Cakreśvarī and Arighnī. These are the twelve names mentioned by me O sage. If a man stays within the adamantine cage of twelve names, he will never meet with misery in difficult situations.

21. By means of these names Devas stationed in the firmament eulogised Saṅketā many times. For the purpose of blessing them, she moved ahead once again.

22. Then the sounds of trumpets were heard in the firmament indicating the starting of Saṅketayoginī who touched the feet of Mantranāthā.

23. Then marched out the army of Śaktis who mostly had the ornaments expressive of the sentiment of Love, who were of dark complexion like tigresses and who held Vīṇās in their hands.

24-26. Some began to dance and sing with the sweet notes of excited cuckoo. Some played on musical instruments such as lutes, flutes and drums. Their paces were regular and graceful. The dark-complexioned Śaktis moved ahead delighting the people of the entire universe. Some rode on peacocks. A few had swans as their vehicles. Some rode on mongooses. A few seated themselves on cuckoos. Some were stationed in covered palanquins. All of them were of dark complexioned features.

27. Some rode on horses. Some were intoxicated by honey from Kaḍamba (Curcuma Aromatica) flowers; keeping Mantranāthā at the head, they moved ahead.

28-31. Mantranāyikā of dark complexion like the cloud, passed through these and other Śaktis. She was seated in a great chariot fitted with lofty flagstaffs. Her armour had the colour of the rising sun. Pride and inebriation had made her eyes roving. Small drops of sweat had made her lotus-like face charming. Her eyebrows appeared to dance gracefully as she repeatedly glanced at the entire army of Śaktis, that was excessively elated and haughty. A triangular umbrella made of peacock feathers rose high above her proclaiming (her importance). Among them, other Śaktis did not have any scope of rising up glittering and refulgent.

32. The heaven-dwellers eulogised her by means of sixteen names. O Pot-born sage, listen to those sixteen names.

33-35. Saṅgītayoginī, Śyāmalā, Mantranāyikā, Mantriṇī, Saciveśī, Pradhāneśī, Śukapriyā, Vīṇāvatī, Vaiṇikī, Mudriṇī, Priyakapriyā, Nīpapriyā, Kadambeśī, Kadambavanavāsinī and Sadāmadā. These are the sixteen names, O Pot-born sage. If any embodied person eulogises Saciveśānī even for once by-means of these names, the entire unit of the three worlds will undoubtedly stay in his control.

36. Wherever Mantrināthā casts her glance, the army of enemies will readily and undoubtedly fall down there.

3 7. As long as there is the discourse on the kingdom of Lalitāparameśānī and on the Śaktis as well, that will be the bestower of victory everywhere.

38. From the young parrot held in the hand of Saṅgītayoginī, Dhanurveda (Science of archery) issued forth holding up a bow kept in readiness.

39. The hero possessed four arms, three heads and three eyes. He devoutly bowed down to Pradhāneśī and spoke thus.

40. O goddess Mantrināyikā, you are preparing for the fight with Bhaṇḍa, the leader of the Asuras. Hence, I should render all assistance to you.

41. O mother of all worlds, this great bow is known by the name of Citrajīva. It is competent to exterminate all Dānavas. Accept it.

42. Here are two quivers with everlasting supply of arrows. They are wonderfully embellished with gold. Accept them for the purpose of destroying Daityas as well as for blessing me.”

43. After saying this, Dhanurveda devoutly bent down his head and handed over the bow and quivers which Priya-kapriyā accepted.

44. Taking up the great bow Citrajīva, (the great goddess) Śukapriyā played on the string repeatedly and produced a twanging sound.

45. The universe was filled with the twanging sound of the bow of Saṅgītayoginī along with the fulfilment of inental and visual delight of the heaven-dwellers.

46. She had two attendants named Yantriṇī and Tantriṇī. Holding the parrot and the lute, they attended upon her instantaneously.

47. Holding the exceedingly charming bow, Ghanaśyāmā (the deity of cloud-like dark complexion) produced the twanging sound on its string increasing its loudness with the tinkling sound of her bangles moving to and fro.

48. Gītayoginī embellished with the bow Citrajīva shone like a row of clouds with the clusters of Kadamba flowers for umbrella and bow.

49. An arrow shone in her right hand. It was as sharp as the piercing glance of Kālī. It was as dreadful as a dancing serpent.

50-51. When the goddess seated herself in the chariot with wheels worthy of being sung about, (a number of other deities) served her from behind. Those goddesses too had dark splendour like her. They held arrows and bows. Their number ran upto a thousand Akṣauhiṇīs. They had gṭeat velocity but were languid with intoxication. With their rumbling and rustling sound, they filled all quarters.

Footnotes and references:


Our text reads (pibantam but N. reads pikṣantam probably a back-formation from Pkt. Piṭṭha. The root is untraced in MW.

Like what you read? Consider supporting this website: